Crohn’s disease was named after the doctor who first described the disease in 1932, an American gastroenterologist named Dr. Burrill B. Crohn. His colleagues, Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, also helped with the discovery. After examining and testing 14 patients with abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss, these doctors were able to distinguish the disease from any other condition known at that time. The doctors called the condition regional ileitis; only later it would come to be known as Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease remained largely misunderstood and under-researched until about the 1960s. Then, in 1967, the National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis was founded as a way to promote education, awareness, and research for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases. Clinicians and researchers are still investigating inflammatory bowel disease to this day.